Edge of the World

We stood on the very edge of the land,
the promontory pushing far out into the sea,
we balanced on stones, slippery with tide wrack,
far below, waves bouncing against the cliff,
curling in white bubbles round broken rocks.
Deep quiet beyond the sound of the breaking sea,
the fields behind subsiding in an evening haze.
A very high wave roared in like a drum roll,
I took a step back, he took my hand, he led me forward.
‘The edge of the earth,’ he said, ‘nowhere else to go.’
‘There is,’ I answered, ‘the New World! Columbus!
his new world, we could go there, leave everything,
disappear, look, it’s just across the sea. Begin anew,
let us forget the past, and make our way there.’
‘So we could,’ he said quietly, ‘we have good reason.’
‘Let’s do it then,’ I clapped my hands, ‘why not?
we can make a unique earth, begin again’
‘Yes, we can make everything new and start afresh.
Perhaps we should.’ With that he moved and
disappeared over the edge of the land.
I saw his body, far below, broken on boulders.

After the furore, the uproar, the police and ambulance,
the rescue services, the inquest, and then the calm,
I came to the New World. I live in light and pleasure,
I left the problems and the badness all behind.
Sometimes I wonder, did his feet slip on the stones?
Did he jump? Or, the question haunts my dreams,
Did I push him?


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